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Monthly Archives: May 2008

I write important tasks on my hand all the time, with whatever pen is available to me. Typically, I worry just a bit about getting some sort of crazy ink poisoning from doing so. What a fate that would be. Even when I’m not sweating a terrible, embarrassing death, my lists are always messy. That just drives me bananas.

Now, that minor inconvenience has a solution. You can pick up a 12 pack of ToDo-Tattoos for $3.50 and be on your way. The concept is simple enough; the ToDo tat is a blank list for you to apply to your skin like any other temp (but much cooler). A safe, washable marker is provided for you to use while filling in the lines of the day ahead.

If this tattoo is anything like other temporary tats, it could be a real bargain. I don’t know about you guys, but my stick-on butterflies and Lisa Frank characters always hung around for several days. If that’s the case, I’m sold. These babies would peak the curiosity in everyone around me; the conversation-starter is an extra bonus, no? My only issue with this product is how patronizing that image is; do you really expect me to believe anyone writes that neatly? On their own skin? I think not. [ToDo-Tattoo via Popgadget]

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Get your hands on something that nobody else has. But not just any something; not some crummy piece of custom jewelry, clothing, none of that. You can have a totally unique lamp.

This design, appropriately named the Folding Lamp, will be a one-of-a-kind light fixture because it’s basically sent to you as a blank slate. You take your pre-scored, uber-thin slice of steel (0.8mm, in fact), and fold along the dotted lines in any manner that makes you smile; then add your lighting. The result is essentially lamp origami.

I personally think that any steel origami would be quite the conversation piece in a home. The lighting makes it particularly interesting and beautiful. With the bulb added, light leaks through the creases and spaces around your newly created fixture. It is quite stunning.

A little koo-koo for cocoa puffs? Yeah. But maybe that’s what it takes to have an artistically furnished abode. Depending on the price, this could be a really fun item to purchase. The only thing is, I fear I’d be the one to screw up while folding the plate. With my luck it’d be completely unsatisfying and completely irreversible. [Yanko Design]

No matter how much of an organized minimalist I consider myself to be, I must admit I’ve been living in a workspace hell where cords reign supreme. Between the chargers, USBs, surround sound (yeah, that’s on my desk), power supplies, and computer devices, it was a nightmare.

Notice I say “was”. I did get it done, but it took me an eternity to finally say, “Hey, I’m doing this today.” I’ve been putting off the solution for months and months, knowing how much time and effort it would take to maybe solve my problem. I was well aware of the lingering chance that whatever I tried might not work, leaving me with less time in my day and a still disastrously messy space.

My other issue was money. Sure I have money, but I just couldn’t justify spending a nice wad of cash on velcro ties and wrapping mechanisms when I knew there had to be some way to accomplish it myself. They’re just cords. They’re strings, running all over my desk.

Many motivational speeches [to myself] later, I set to work. I began at 8:00 in the morning, and after about six hours of labor, my work was complete. The kind-of-cordless workspace was mine. Looking back, I can basically hash up my success to five methods.

1. Wrap. Chances are great that excess cord-age was my biggest issue; the cords I had were way too long and unwrapped. They were plugged in and thrown behind the desk; multiply by 5 and you’ve got a situation. Learn how to properly wrap cords, do so, and then secure them.

2. Rig. This is the step that plays a large role in creating that “cordless” look, while keeping a safe and organized space as well. Say your problem area is a desk (it probably is, anyway). You’ve completed step one; now, attach those cords to your space. You can purchase items solely for this purpose, or you can get creative. Personally, I secured my cords with velcro stips (cut from rolls of velcro) and attached those strips to patches of velcro on the back of my desk. They are out of the way and they aren’t being tossed into a jumbled pile.

3. Binder clips. It’s really obnoxious when cords fall off of the back of your desk; this particularly tends to happen where chargers are kept, when they aren’t plugged in. The answer is simple: binder clips. Detach one of the clip’s silver prongs, insert your cord, reattach the prong, and mount the clip to your desk or charging station. The clip will act as a catcher.

4. Label. This is another problem I used to have all the time. I possess more than enough cords to add a fire hazard to my house, and I often couldn’t tell which cord went to what; most commonly, in the power strip and on the back of my CPU. Label the ends of these cords clearly (I used a label maker), at both ends if necessary. This will save you so much hassle and grief, it’s ridiculous.

5. Use what you have. Though some materials may be necessary, try not to be lured into “cord management solution” ploys. Think rationally and be aware of what you don’t need; remember, all you’re trying to do is organize a bunch of lines. I was fortunate enough to have a sister who sews and crafts frequently, so velcro and elastic ties were readily available. Household items can be used in all sorts of ways to help your cause.

Keep these tips in mind and take my advice: Do it now. Stop making excuses, find what you need, and dive in. This can be a very enjoyable and rewarding weekend project. Good luck to you, and enjoy your sexy new workspaces.

Results

Take a look at some pictures I snapped, both for inspiration and clarification on the tips. You’ll see (in order from top to bottom):

Before and after shot of the area behind my desk

Before and after shot of the area between my desk and entertainment station (AKA power strip land)

Before and after shot of the area behind my CPU

Random shots of the fixes.

Phew!

The latest laptop in Sony Korea’s LJ series, VGC-LJ25L, comes equipped with a tiny, fold-in keyboard that should make tight fits a breeze.

Overall, the laptop has an unconventional appearance; it looks more like an LCD screen with a panel attached (that panel being the keyboard). In reality, that’s just about correct.

Stats include a 15.4-inch LCD wide screen, built-in camera, microphone, speakers and woofers, Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, and 200GB HD space. Not too shabby. Still, one wouldn’t buy this machine for the components, but rather, for the design.

I do have some immediate concerns, however, just judging by what visual information I have. One,wouldn’t this be sort of difficult, or at least uncomfortable, to hold in your lap? And two, the screen; if I’m not mistaken, this design leaves half of the pc uncovered and unprotected. We all know what that means, and what a shame it would be with such an aesthetically-pleasing device. [Aving USA]

LG’s “Bikini” touchscreen phone has officially hit Korea, boasting some attractive but familiar features.

In essence, the Bikini [appropriately modeled by lovely ladies in their skivvies] is reminiscent of the legendary iPhone in that it has replaced physical navigation buttons with virtual ones. However, unlike the iPhone, LG’s mobile has not completely made the leap; it still utilizes a slider form and dial pad.

Nonetheless, the Bikini makes a worthy attempt at accommodating the increasingly large number of functions of which a cellphone is capable. InteractPad, as the virtual-button-feature is being called, is said to be more accurate, simplistic, and flexible than typical navigation systems. Fluidity and ease should come naturally when these virtual keys’ functions change depending on what it is you’re trying to do.

Aside from the phone’s major attraction, InteractPad, several other components help to create a practical, if not extravagant, device for use. It comes loaded with an MP3 player, FM radio, video recorder, Bluetooth, and 3 mega-pixel camera. Buyers have two color options; wine red and black.

Now, I’m only left with one question: Why is it called the ‘Bikini’ ?  [Aving USA]

Designer Laurent Corio has come up with a way to ditch the status-symbol cup and graduate to an adult drinking apparatus; an apparatus by the name of “To Go”. Yes, it may look like a shroom, and yes, it appears to hold about a shot’s worth of liquid. But hey, what price wouldn’t you pay for class– anytime, anywhere.

Yeah, I probably definitely still wouldn’t use it. But it’s an amusing design to observe, nonetheless. And at least somebody’s thinking; we can’t use sippy-cups forever.

You can drink your coffee leisurely, elegantly sipping from your cup then resting it on its saucer. If that isn’t working for you, the saucer becomes a lid, allowing you to hit the road. The saucer contains a small hole, of course, for your drinking pleasure.

Bottom line, this phails; for me, anyway. Every concept can’t be perfect. But again, someone is trying. I don’t see anyone else coming up with anything. What do you guys think? Hit the comments. [Laurent Corio]

Actually, it was later discovered that the material was not composed of Demigods’ tears, but rather, amino acids. The nanostructured blood-stopper is still awaiting FDA approval, as well. Nonetheless, our scientific leaps proceed to fascinate and horrify me. I’m more certain than ever that we will, inevitably, destroy ourselves. Or dominate the government of every surrounding planet in the solar system; yes, you too Pluto. Possibly both.

At any rate, this stuff is very cool. It is poured right onto the site, at which point it transforms into a gel and stops bleeding almost immediately.The first use will appear in the operating room, where surgeons and their attendants typically spend an unfortunate amount of their time just managing bleeding. Instead of using the sponges, cautery, and precious minutes doing that, medical professionals will be able to apply the substance and focus on the procedure. You don’t end up with gauze accidentally left inside of you, your doctor won’t be sued, you don’t bleed to death, your doctor won’t be sued, you don’t suffer horrendous aftereffects as a result of a prolonged surgery, your doctor won’t be sued, everybody wins.

Outside of surgery, this could decrease the need for transfusions and the like, too. At some point, this miracle liquid could be administered by first responders to save lives in emergency scenarios and battlefields. With its long shelf life, it may even appear in first-aid kids someday, though further testing is required.

For those of us wondering about the potentially catastrophic side effects, breathe easy. The material doesn’t even have to be removed from the body, as it is easily broken down. As we speak, manufacturing processes are being developed to yield large quantities of it. [Technology Review]